I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that we are living in the most frantic and “connected” society the world has ever seen. The pace of life moves faster than most of us can adapt. We keep a continual pace of consumption when it comes to information and media in our lives.
One large, negative aspect of this way of life is losing the ability to have the space to recognize the Lord’s work in someone else’s life. The Bible calls us to not only recognize it, but to act on it by affirming with words what we see.
What makes a good marriage.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul tells us,
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
In marriage, we are to be our spouse’s chief encourager. What is marriage if not a place to be encouraged? Everyone needs spoken encouragement, no matter how confident they seem. I can’t think of a better way to encourage each another than recognizing the Lord’s work in my spouse’s life. It is a gift and a blessing to my marriage that isn’t difficult to produce.
The frantic world will never truly encourage or uplift us. It is a place of judgment and fear. Our marriages can reflect the character and freedom of Christ and not the world when we encourage through our words.
Our tongues contain the gift of life. We want to use our tongues to bring life and praise to our marriage. We want to use our tongue to build up and recognize the good work of the Lord in our spouse’s life. We want our tongue to be a source of freedom from this frantic world. We want our tongues to uplift and edify.
What Scripture says about encouragement?
Here are a couple of Bible verses I've found helpful to remember over the years as I long to make my marriage good through encouraging words.
1 Thessalonians 2:12—"we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”
Hebrew 10:24-25—"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Your marriage mission
Let’s take the time to ask ourselves, “Do I have the margin in my life to recognize God’s grace in my spouse’s life?”
If the answer is no, then how can I make the space? If the answer is yes, then am I using words to encourage my spouse through how I see the Lord working in their life?
Set a personal goal of a specific amount of time you will spend thinking on the good in your spouse and in your marriage every day for a week. Set out to tell your spouse what you thought about each day.
I can guarantee you—this will be a life-giving practice for the both of you, and I pray it will become more of a regular habit instead of a “once in a while” activity.
Louise has been married for 15 years and has four children. She loves to write and edit, but her full-time job is homeschooling her children in Colorado Springs.